Cold to Follow the snow- are you prepared? (posted January 29, 2019)
Following the snowstorm, the National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the single digits for most of Wisconsin, beginning on Thursday and lasting into the weekend. Combined with wind chills of around -20˚F, people should be prepared for dangerous cold outdoors in the days ahead.
During the bitter cold, stay indoors if you can. If you must be outside, wear multiple layers of clothing and make sure you cover your head, ears and hands.
Cold weather puts extra stress on the heart. Activities such asshoveling snow could cause a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
Never run a gasoline, propane heater or a grill inside your home or unventilated garage. They can release deadly carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide causes headaches, dizziness, confusion and ultimately death. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, call 911 and get out of the home immediately.
Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 30 minutes. Symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the nose. If you see these signs, seek medical care immediately!
Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness in adults and children. In infants, symptoms can include bright red or cold skin and very low energy. If you notice anyone exhibiting any of the symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical care immediately!
Pets also need extra care when the temperatures fall. They should be brought inside when the temperature reaches 30˚F with wind chill. Dogs and cats can get frost-bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside during bitter cold weather. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can also irritate pets’ paws.